Whether a cracked tooth happens as the result of an accident, misuse of the teeth, or even teeth grinding, it should always be evaluated by a dentist. The reason is that even though a cracked tooth isn’t causing any symptoms, it could eventually cause tooth loss
if left unchecked.
Only a dentist can determine whether the needed treatment is cosmetic or if it requires an additional procedure to save your tooth. Here are some possibilities of what may happen, depending on the severity of the injury.
Sometimes, if the crack in your tooth only extends as far as the enamel, you may be able to forgo treatment. Otherwise, you may need tooth bonding. Tooth bonding, also known as dental bonding, is a form of treatment in which a tooth-colored resin is bonded to your tooth to protect it from further damage. Tooth bonding can also be used to fill in chips and cracks.
Tooth bonding can be used to repair certain cracks and stop them from getting worse, but will not be ideal for every cracked tooth. You won’t know until you actually visit the dentist.
The next likely scenario is when a crack extends beyond the enamel and into the softer tissues of the teeth. If this happens, it’s likely that
you’ll need root canal therapy to prevent an infection in your tooth. This is because when a crack leads to the inside of the tooth, it can be a gateway for bacteria and food particles to enter your tooth. This situation is ripe for an infection.
If the damage is extensive or if the crack has been present for some time, your dentist may recommend root canal therapy with a dental crown.
This entails a custom-designed tooth being affixed to the end of the remaining tooth to protect it from further damage. During the actual root canal procedure, your dentist will remove the inner pulp of your tooth to prevent an infection.
The treatment and repair of your tooth, even if it seems drastic at first, is important to secure protection for the tooth in order to avoid an extraction and save your natural tooth.
In cases in which the crack in your tooth extends below the gumline, your tooth may be beyond saving. In those cases, your tooth may need to be extracted. Called a split tooth, these are cracks that lead vertically down the tooth and towards the tooth’s root.
A split tooth that is usually the result of a crack that’s been there for some time. Removal becomes necessary to prevent infection. In order to prevent loss of bone mass in your jaw, your dentist might also recommend a dental implant.
So the moral of this article is, whether you have a superficial crack in your teeth or a deeper crack that’s causing you pain and discomfort, it’s imperative to get in to see your dentist as soon as you can. It may even amount to an emergency warranting being evaluated that same day. In either case, the sooner you have it checked, the better chance you have of saving your tooth and your smile.